Nabil Shaath shares his thoughts on Palestinian statehood, international consensus in lecture

Nabil Shaath, the Palestinian president’s foreign policy adviser, gave a lecture at Birzeit University on the Palestinian quest for independence within an international context, on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. 

In the lecture, entitled “The Palestinian Cause and the Variables of the International Order” and hosted by the Ibrahim Abu-Lughod Institute of International Studies, Shaath said that international consensus is leaning toward the Palestinian quest for freedom.

Shaath noted that if Palestinians want to take advantage of that shift, they must work toward ending internal division, restoring unity, holding presidential and legislative elections, and reestablishing the Palestinian economy such that it is independent from Israeli control. 

The recent setbacks suffered by President Trump and the Republican Party in the U.S. midterm elections point to a change in American opinions, especially the youth, added Shaath, commenting that the world is in a constant state of change, and that those changes affect the balance of powers, whether on a local or an international level. 

As for the “deal of the century,” Shaath explained that the deal itself is a cover behind which Trump could set the stage for an Arab-Israeli coalition against Iran, adding that Trump wanted some Arab countries to push Palestinians into accepting the deal, which gives Israel carte blanche. 

Additionally, Shaath stressed that Trump’s mistake in executing his plan was that he started by declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, an act condemned by the Arab countries in the latest Arab summit - the “Jerusalem Summit.” The Arab consensus against Trump’s decision on Jerusalem, Shaath said, came from the Palestinian’s outright rejection.